What is Rotary?

Rotary is a worldwide network of inspired men and women who volunteer their time and talents to support their local communities and communities around the world.

pharris1_sm.jpgFounded by Paul Harris in Chicago on Feb 23rd 1905 Rotary offers you an opportunity to:

  • Serve your community
  • Make new friendships, here and abroad
  • Develop and use your skills in new ways while assisting others
  • Learn more about your community and the world at large
  • Have fun!

At present there are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belonging to more than 31,000 Rotary clubs located in 166 countries. Membership of a Rotary club represent a cross section of the community's business and professional men and women. The Clubs meet weekly and are non-political, non-religious and open to all cultures, races and creeds.

The main object of Rotary is service - in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of todays' most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, literacy and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers and other professionals. The Rotary motto is Service above Self.

Although Rotary clubs develop their own service programs, all Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio. In the 1980's Rotarians raised US$240 million to immunize the children of the world. By 2005, Rotary's centenary year and the target date for the certification of a polio-free world, the PolioPlus program will have contributed US$500 million to this cause.

The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes world understanding through international humanitarian service programs and educational and cultural exchanges. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and others who share its vision of a better world. Since 1947, the Foundation has awarded more than US$1.1 billion in humanitarian and educational grants, which are initiated and administered by local Rotary clubs and districts.